So you’ve bought your first motorcycle and can’t wait to hit the road for an adventure. Before popping your bike’s clutch, it’s important to understand the basics of motorcycle riding, mistakes to avoid, and helpful tips to follow. Here’s what you need to know.
Buy motorcycle insurance
Ontario has mandatory motorcycle insurance requirements, which means you must show proof that you have insured your motorcycle before registering it. If you don’t tell the truth about your motorcycle insurance or present falsified documents, you could be fined $5,000 to $25,000. Furthermore, you could lose your license for up to 12 months and your motorcycle could be withdrawn for up to three months.
Register your new motorcycle
Generally, motorcycle registration consists of a vehicle license and number plates. The vehicle license must have a description of your motorcycle. So if you change anything on your motorcycle, such as the color, it is recommended that you report it to a driver and a vehicle licensing office within 6 days. Similarly, if you change your address or name, you must notify the Ministère des Transports within 6 days.
When you register a motorcycle at a Service Ontario Centre, you must present the bill of sale. Motorcycle dealers are required by law to provide buyers with a certificate guaranteeing that the motorcycle meets the exact definition according to the Highway Code.
Once the registration process is complete, a new license plate will be issued. Keep in mind that license plates in Ontario operate on a plate-owner basis. This means that motorcycle license plates move with the motorcycle owner, not the motorcycle. When you change or sell your motorcycle, you must remove the plates. If you do not intend to use the plates on another motorcycle, you must return them to a Service Ontario Centre.
Keep your motorcycle license plate visible
By law, your entire motorcycle license plate must be completely visible. For this reason, you should remove anything that makes it difficult to see your motorcycle’s license plates, such as snow, dirt, plate frame, etc. If your license plate is invisible, you could be fined.
Obtain a safety standard certificate
The safety standard certificate is simply a document that certifies the suitability of a motorcycle. You can buy and register a motorcycle without a safety certificate, but you cannot put your plates on the motorcycle or drive it without the safety certificate.
Note that this certificate can be issued by an inspection station fully approved by the Ministry of Transport. Luckily, most garages are licensed, so you should look for a sign that says it’s a motor vehicle inspection station. It is important to mention that the safety standards certificate is only valid for 36 days after the inspection of the motorcycle.
Maintain your motorcycle
Motorcycles require more maintenance than cars. It is therefore important that you read the user manual, have the motorcycle thoroughly inspected and correct any potential problems immediately. Also, it would be best if you have the motorcycle serviced regularly to ensure that its tires, wheels, coolant, transmission, shocks, mounts, brakes, and other accessories are functional.